Norman M. Naimark

Senior Fellow

Norman M. Naimark is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is also the Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies and a senior fellow of Stanford's Freeman-Spogli Institute.

Naimark is an expert in modern East European and Russian history. His current research focuses on Soviet policies and actions in Europe after World War II and on genocide and ethnic cleansing in the twentieth century.

Naimark is the author of the critically acclaimed volumes The Russians in Germany: The History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949 (Harvard, 1995), Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing In 20th Century Europe (Harvard, 2001), and Stalin's Genocides (Princeton, 2010). He is also the author of the volumes Terrorists and Social Democrats: The Russian Revolutionary Movement under Alexander III (Harvard, 1983) and The History of the "Proletariat": The Emergence of Marxism in the Kingdom of Poland, 1870–1887 (Columbia, 1979). In his recent book, Genocide: A World History (Oxford University Press, 2016), Naimark examines the main episodes in the history of genocide from the beginning of human history to the present.

Naimark has edited and coedited a dozen books and document collections on the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe, Soviet nationality problems, interpretations of Soviet history, Operation "Barbarossa," the Soviet occupation of Germany, the Soviet occupation of Austria, the wars in former Yugoslavia, the Armenian genocide, and Soviet Politburo protocols.

He is or has been a member of editorial boards of a number of major professional journals in this country and abroad, including the American Historical Review, the Journal of Contemporary History, the Journal of Cold War Studies, Jahrbuch Fuer Historische Kommunismusforschung, Kritika, the Journal of Modern European History, and East European Politics and Societies.

Naimark was former president and board member of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. He served for many years on the Visiting Committee of the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard and was former chair of the Joint Committee on Eastern Europe of the American Council of Learned Societies and Social Science Research Council. He served on the academic advisory board of the Center for Contemporary History Studies in Potsdam, Germany, and presently serves on the academic board of the “Vertreibung” Museum in Berlin. He is recipient of the Officers Cross of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany. Most recently, he was elected as a foreign corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

At Stanford, Naimark served two terms on the Academic Senate, as well as on its Steering Committee. Also, he was chair of the Department of History, director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies, and director of the International Relations and International Policy Studies Programs. In 1995, he was awarded the Richard W. Lyman Award (for outstanding faculty volunteer service). He twice was recipient of the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching (1991–92, 2002–3).

Naimark earned a BA (1966), MA (1968), and PhD (1972) in history from Stanford University. Before returning to Stanford in 1988, Naimark was a professor of history at Boston University and a fellow at the Russian Research Center at Harvard. He also held the visiting Kathryn Wasserman Davis Chair of Slavic Studies at Wellesley College.

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Recent Commentary


Stanford Experts Weigh In On What To Expect At The Biden-Putin Summit

interview with Michael McFaul, Norman M. Naimarkvia Stanford News
Sunday, June 13, 2021

Hoover Institution fellows Michael McFaul and Norman Naimark hope that President Joe Biden’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin will lay the groundwork for negotiations in the near future, particularly around nuclear weapons.

485 Days at Majdanek

by Norman M. Naimark, Nicholas Siekierskivia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 26, 2021

In a fresh translation, a crucial memoir of the Holocaust era.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

485 Days At Majdanek

by Norman M. Naimark, Nicholas Siekierskivia Defining Ideas
Thursday, March 11, 2021

A fresh translation, published by the Hoover Institution Press, honors a crucial memoir of the Holocaust era.

Serbia, Russia, and the New Great Game

by Jovana Lazić Knežević, Norman M. Naimarkvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 19, 2020

After twenty years of an uneasy peace in the Balkans, Belgrade is moving closer to Europe—but also displaying Russian-style autocracy and flirting with China.

In the News

Professor Norman Naimark Wins Norris And Carol Hundley Award For Book On Stalin’s Postwar Foreign Policies

featuring Norman M. Naimarkvia Stanford Daily
Monday, August 10, 2020

History professor Norman M. Naimark ’66 M.A ’68 Ph.D. ’72 received the Norris and Carol Hundley Award — one of the most prestigious awards for books on historical subjects — on Friday for his 2019 book “Stalin and the Fate of Europe: The Postwar Struggle for Sovereignty.”

In the News

Historian Norman Naimark Receives 2020 Norris And Carol Hundley Award

featuring Norman M. Naimarkvia Stanford News
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Historian Norman Naimark, the Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor in East European Studies, has been awarded a 2020 Norris and Carol Hundley Award from the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, for his book Stalin and the Fate of Europe.


Norman Naimark: Stalin And The Fate Of Europe: The Postwar Struggle For Sovereignty

featuring Norman M. Naimarkvia Russia and Eurasia Program, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Russia and Eurasia Program at The Fletcher School is pleased to award its second annual U.S.-Russia Relations Book Prize to Professor Norman Naimark of Stanford University for his new book Stalin and the Fate of Europe: The Postwar Struggle for Sovereignty (2019). The award recognizes an outstanding book on historical or contemporary foreign policy discourse pertaining to the past or present of U.S.-Russia relations. 


Stalin Did Not Want An Iron Curtain To Descend, Stanford Historian Norman Naimark Says

interview with Norman M. Naimarkvia Stanford News
Thursday, December 26, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Norman Naimark discusses his book Stalin and the Fate of Europe: The Postwar Struggle for Sovereignty, as well as his research on the postwar order in Europe.

In the News

Norman Naimark Review – The Postwar Struggle For Power

featuring Norman M. Naimarkvia OltNews
Monday, December 23, 2019

European politicians in search of to rebuild their ravaged societies within the instant aftermath of the second world warfare had their work minimize out for them. The battle had devastated the continent, leveling cities, destroying economies, and uprooting 40 million individuals.

The 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

The 30th Anniversary Of The Fall Of The Berlin Wall

featuring Peter M. Robinson, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Kotkin, David Holloway, Timothy Garton Ash, Norman M. Naimark, Niall Ferguson, Robert Service, Victor Davis Hanson, Michael McFaul, Amir Weinervia Hoover Daily Report
Thursday, November 14, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Peter Robinson as well as many scholars and historians review the history of the Berlin Wall.